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On November 23, 2015, Gonzalo commented on Noah Basketball — The Data Perfected Jump Shot :

Interesting post! Although I see the value for pro teams and college teams, I believe there is a lot of value for teams at schools to have this technology so that coaches can “fix” the kids shoots while they are still young. I imagine that convincing schools to spend money on this would not be easy though.

On November 23, 2015, Gonzalo commented on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive — One of Valve’s Data Habits :

Interesting post. As a gamer, I think is really important to keep the game balanced and to understand how each new feature will change an already competitive environment. What Valve is doing on data analytics seems to be a great way of testing for this changes and therefore provide gamers a guarantee on fairness while maintaining a good amount of challenge.

On November 23, 2015, Gonzalo commented on IBM Marketing Gets Tennis Moneyball Rolling :

Very interesting post! I agree with the logic of the value created for pro players but I wonder if we are far away of having this kind of technology for amateur players too. I think I have seen technology implemented in some clubs that are supposed to tell you how did you do in the court, but I believe there is more value to be added here and it could be a great chance for IBM to penetrate a bigger market for this technology (ex. evaluate your skills before and after 10 tennis classes).

On November 1, 2015, Gonzalo commented on Quora – Capturing the Intelligence of the World :

It is really impressive how Quora has become a very realiable platform in which to get answers to very hard questions from relevant people on the matter. Today is easy to see how answering in Quora will give your reputation a boost but I wonder how did they start? How did they get relevant people to answer the questions?

Good post! It is really interesting how the gamification systems give incentives to consumers to participate into these activities and therefore create a better platform from everyone (direct network effects). Users take hours of their time creating and uploading content for a “badge” or other in-app status that differentiates them from other users. I wonder if there is a psychological explanation to these behavior in the digital era.

On October 31, 2015, Gonzalo commented on Can crowdfunding cure cancer? :

Very interesting post. I believe that in today’s world sometimes the incentives to find a cure to a disease like this one or others are not aligned. I think there is a lot of potential for crowdfunded developed drugs and treatments, specially on the field of long treatment illnesses like depression.I wonder what kind push back will the pharmaceutical companies do to avoid this. When a change is imminent maybe joining it is the best option.

On October 4, 2015, Gonzalo commented on World of WarCraft: The most successful game ever? :

The idea of letting gamers play for free until a certain level was hilarious. These games are so addicting that once you reach that point you will most probably pay. Once you are certain about a product like this one, sacrificing some initial value to get customers and get the network effects’ cycle going seems to be worth it and has worked very well for companies like Blizzard.

On October 4, 2015, Gonzalo commented on WhatsApp — Network effects worth $19 billion? :

Nowadays it seems that companies are desperate to get as many users as possible and as you describe “being where people networks are” seems to be the reason. I am concerned though with the fact that monetization doesn’t seem a simple task. Users have grown in an environment where these apps were from free and I doubt an invasive kind of advertising would do the trick. I believe the future lies in sponsored content rather than ads, and that world is still evolving so it will be interesting to see how that works out.

On October 4, 2015, Gonzalo commented on PlayStation: How Sony came to dominate the gaming industry :

It is interesting how the industry learns about these effects and how other players now also use indirect network effects like the ones you mention to get traction in this industry. Xbox 360 launched before PS3 and made sure to have both emblematic games that “sold the console” and a load of exclusive developers for its console. This added to the low price they charged for the Xbox 360 put Sony in a very bad place for that generation. Interestingly, now with the PS4 Sony managed to return the favor. I am curious about how much value is destroyed for these companies in the process of achieving the scale needed for these network effects to take place now that everyone seems to understand the game.

On September 14, 2015, Gonzalo commented on Venmo: Rapidly Replacing Cash in the Pockets of Millenials :

This is super interesting given that we use Venmo everyday at school! I wonder though if they would be able to monetize this eventually or if they will try to make money out of short-time investing of their clients balances like Jon says (not even sure this is legal without the clients’ consent).

Another interesting critic that I have read is the security it provides. While it manages very sensitive information (your bank accounts and money), an unlock stolen phone could be a real nightmare. Do you know how can a user block his/her Venmo account if something like this happens? And moreover, how is venmo replying to the latest critics about its security? (http://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/032415/how-safe-venmo-and-why-it-free.asp)

On September 14, 2015, Gonzalo commented on Waze: Redefining Carpooling :

Is interesting how car pooling is gaining users in the U.S. and could greatly help to reduce traffic and improve transportation efficiency. While the optimum transportation system would be a really good public transport, this clearly set us in the right direction.

More interestingly, I believe this market could be a huge new source of revenues for google if they monetize it correctly. With over 1 billion trips a day in the US, a $1 dollar fee per trip could easily match or even surpass the revenues of its core business.(http://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/sites/rita.dot.gov.bts/files/subject_areas/national_household_travel_survey/daily_travel.html)

On September 13, 2015, Gonzalo commented on Riot Games – A digital winner, but is it revolutionary? :

I have found very interesting how the fremium concept has worked with gaming and how it is being reproduced by other industries. LOL is clearly a good example of this as it is Clash of Clans, which makes about $1.6 Million dollars a day just basing their value capture on users that want to get a bit more out of a free game (https://openforum.hbs.org/challenge/understand-digital-transformation-of-business/business-model/clash-of-clans-capturing-value-one-gem-at-a-time)

A very interesting example of how Fremium can be used in other industries is FreedomPop, a cellphone company that gives you the first minutes and data for free expecting that you will pay for more when you ran out of them (http://www.freemium.org/freedompop/).

I believe that digital technologies allow companies to scale very quickly using this kind of services and appealing to the big numbers theory. There will always be people willing to pay for a premium service as long as you reach out to them, and what better than a free-good quality product.